‘Big brother’ terrifyingly real for China’s Uighurs

The ethics of centralised video surveillance is an idea that’s been explored extensively – from Orwell’s 1984 to Black Mirror, the scary prospect of big brother tracking your every movement has long haunted us as a species, even before the existence of CCTV.

But for the Muslin minority Uighur people in the Chinese province of Xinjang, these ideas don’t just exist in fiction.

Reports of surveillance being used to identify and track the Uighurs have been circulating in western media for a little while now, along with terrifying reports of these people being forced into ‘re-education camps’.

To get a better grasp on how this technology operates and its use in Xinjiang province, William Keech spoke to James Leibold, Senior Fellow with the International Cyber Policy Centre at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.